🏈 Grunhard Happy to be a Jayhawk
LAWRENCE, Kan. — When offensive lineman Colin Grunhard arrived in Lawrence to enroll at Kansas as a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, he knew exactly where he wanted his first stop to be once he rolled into town.
The weight room inside Anderson Family Football Complex.
“The biggest change happens in the weight room,” Grunhard said Thursday after he and his teammates wrapped up practice No. 2 of the spring. “With Coach (Ben Iannacchione), I’ve been experiencing that a lot. We’re working out hard. When we’re running, we’re running hard. Every little thing matters.”
With two seasons of eligibility left after four-year career at Notre Dame, Grunhard came to Kansas with his primary objective being to help the Jayhawks in any way he can. If that means being a vocal leader on the field with his offensive linemen, that’s what he’ll do. If it means, helping out younger teammates in the film room and encouraging them, he’s on it.
Grunhard, a Kansas City native, who prepped at Bishop Miege High School, just wants to be the ultimate teammate.
“Helping Kansas win, that’s my only job,” Grunhard said. “I don’t care if it’s starting or being a backup or in the stands, my only job here is to help KU win.”
Grunhard, who mans the center position, is part of a somewhat new look for the offensive line for the Jayhawks. Not only did Grunhard join the Jayhawks at the semester break, but so did incoming freshmen Larson Workman and De’Kedrick Sterns. Additionally, the Jayhawks hired Lee Grimes as their new offensive line coach for the 2021 season.
“He’s fun to work with,” Grunhard said of Grimes. “He’s worked with a lot of guys who are in the NFL now. He’s a good guy. He’s a character. He keeps us engaged in the meetings. He has fun with it.”
New Position for Betts
Super-senior Nate Betts, who emerged as a playmaker for the Jayhawks last season, has moved closer to the line of scrimmage this spring.
Betts, who played safety last year, has moved to inside linebacker. He also swapped jersey numbers, going from No. 34 to No. 0.
“We were kind of short at linebackers last season, and I wanted to help the team out more,” Betts said. “I asked around with the coaches and asked what position was best for me. They all gave me confirmation was the perfect choice for me. It’s been fun. I feel natural there. There are a lot of things I have to learn, but I feel natural there.
“It’s just a new me. It’s a new position. A new number. I feel like I’m starting from square one.”
Betts played his best football last year later in the season. One of his top performances came in the final game of the year against Texas Tech, where he had six tackles, a forced fumble and returned a fumble 45 yards. Betts said he put less pressure on himself as the season went on and tried to think less when he was on the field.
“One thing that I learned was just to play; once you step in between the white lines, you just play,” Betts said. “You don’t worry about anything else. That just really helped me. I was thinking too hard.”